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Venture capital

  • Singapore’s Nitrous.IO gets $1 million funding from Silicon Valley luminaries

    Nitrous.IO, Action.IO’s software development platform and key product, just got US$1 million in seed funding from a handful of VC firms in Silicon Valley including Bessemer Venture Partners, Draper Associates, CrunchFund, 500 Startups, TIBCO Software, and individuals like Eduardo Saverin and Prosper Nwankpa. The whole idea behind Nitrous.IO is to help “developers create a development environment in the cloud in a matter of seconds.” If I have a developer team and I want to build and implement a software product, it always takes a lot of time to find, download, set up, and install code on all my machines to...

  • Microsoft, university, VC network team up to give SA startups a fighting chance

    A new partnership between Microsoft’s BizSpark initiative and Find-Make-Grow-Realise (FMGR), a startup investment programme offered by the University of Cape Town's Graduate School of Business and local VC network AngelHub, will give startups in Johannesburg technological support, business know-how, and access to potential investors and business networks. While BizSpark provides access to software development tools, connecting the member entrepreneurs with key industry players, and providing the marketing visibility which these high growth potential...

  • Google-backed VC supergroup to startups: build us a killer Glass app!

    We're pretty big fans of Google Glass. This type of wearable computer has tremendous potential to augment our daily experiences, but we're only starting to imagine what's possible. So is Google. To help the search monolith along, it's created the Glass Collective, a venture capital supergroup consisting of Google Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB). The three VC companies have teamed up to "provide seed funding to entrepreneurs in the Glass ecosystem to help jumpstart their ideas," writes Bill Maris, VP, Google Ventures. Google is thinking of Glass as a new computing platform and as such, it...

  • Funding and South Africa’s tech startups [Infographic]

    South Africa's funding scene is cagey. It's really hard to find concrete information, but it's no surprise really, considering all the non-disclosure agreements. Silicon Cape has been running a survey in an effort to unlock some funding information which it hopes will enlighten the country's tech startup community. The survey results were compiled into this infographic. While 60% of startups are self-funded, 41% are in search of funding. Funding is still a luxury available to a select few -- about a quarter of the survey respondents have received funding from VCs, Angels and family. Few investors are willing to invest amounts...

  • 10 step guide to running a successful crowdfunding campaign

    Hear ye, all you who are interested in raising capital but are sick of trying to convince the rich people to invest in your idea. Try tapping into the masses instead. Besides raising money, crowdfunding also serves a marketing purpose. It’s another way of getting the word out on your idea and to test your concept. Here’s a 10 step guide to running a successful crowdfunding campaign, with some insights from Daryl Arnold of Newton Circus. I’ve included step zero as an introduction: Step 0: Choose the right platform The most well-known platform is, arguably, Kickstarter, the mother of all crowdfunding sites....

  • Can Africa accommodate Elon Musk-esque ambition?

    “Young men with unlimited capital looking for interesting, legitimate investment opportunities and business propositions.” -- Advert in the New York Times that led to John Roberts and Joel Rosenman meeting Artie Kornfield and Mike Lang, organisers of the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival. I read two articles recently, Duncan Alberts’ Funding hurts SA tech start-ups and Alistair Fairweather’s Elon Musk: Pretoria’s billionaire space explorer and inventor. Both of them resonated with me and I wanted to add my voice to the discussion based on my experience at Triggerfish. There is no doubt that a shortage of risk capital exists in South Africa....

  • Seed accelerator 88mph gets a VC boost from 4Di Capital

    Independent early-stage VC fund, 4Di Capital is investing in 88mph, the African seed accelerator. Details of the deal remain under wraps, but CEO and founder of 4Di, Justin Stanford, tells Ventureburn that the investment deal will see 4Di share a stake in 88mph graduates. In addition to funding, the investment from the Cape Town-based 4Di will provide 88mph startups greater access to a network of local investors and enhances the possibility for follow-on funding. Stanford says that the deal is part of building a credible ecosystem, one he hopes will draw more angel investment and move the "Silicon Cape" concept forward. He...

  • 500 startups now accepting investment online through startup nexus AngelList

    500 Startups, the Silicon Valley accelerator with a penchant for emerging markets, has opened fundraising for its Fund II through AngelList, the social network of sorts for startups. Back in December 2012, AngelList launched a partnership with Secondmarket, the private market place for buying and selling alternative assets, to allow smaller accredited investors to invest in startups. The minimum investment amount was set at US$1 000 and the service reportedly went on to raise US$12 million within 30 days of going live. 500 Startups was the first incubator to use AngelList back in January to accept applications for its Spring 2013...

  • Off to chat to a VC? Here are 10 things you need to do first

    A lot of very very smart, experienced investors have put several “must read” guides out there over the last few years on how to get their attention. If you’ve read these before, consider this a reminder. If you haven’t read these guides before, then consider this a starting point. This post should not be seen as a comprehensive list. It’s more of a response to various pitches I’ve been getting from multiple sources. “Understand the investor’s mandate, fund size, investment reqs. Pitch the right investors and build relationships with others” – TJ Sassani, Founder of Zozi. Research Before going out and trying...

  • Why your email pitch did not even make the VC’s ‘maybe pile’

    Here’s the thing: if you do a cold-call pitch to a Venture Capital (VC) investor using email, your proposal is already at the bottom of the pile before anyone has even read the subject line. The reason: VCs mostly rely on warm referrals from within their trusted networks to generate dealflow, as this acts as an automatic filter and increases the quality of proposals. It also says a lot about an entrepreneur that goes through the trouble to "stalk" a VC and infiltrate his or her networks to ultimately get introduced, or introduce themselves face-to-face in the right forum. I...